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Tibetan gov't to pay for losses caused by wild animals
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Wildlife protection zones account for one third of the whole Tibetan area. Wild animal populations have increased threefold over the last 20 years. As a result, more and more local farmers and herdsmen have had their livelihood disrupted, or even been injured, by wild animals. The Tibetan regional government has therefore established a policy to remedy the problem: the government will pay for losses caused by wild animals.

According to local media reports, Ngari prefecture and various counties have set aside over 1 million yuan to compensate local farmers and herdsmen for damage brought about by wild animals.

In Tibet, brown bears, black bears, wild yaks, snow leopards and blue sheep are the principal sources of problems to local farmers and herdsmen. In Shuanghu area within the Qiangtang Nature Reserve, the world’s largest nature reserve, wild animals have caused losses of over 1 million yuan to local herdsmen in the past ten years. The damage is now running at about 500,000 yuan per annum.

A recent survey conducted by the Tibetan Forestry Department indicated that wild animal populations have increased by threefold. Currently Tibet has nearly 800 species of vertebrate, and 125 species have been listed for state protection. A total of 6,400 animal species and 200 terrestrial vertebrates are native to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

(China.org.cn by Zhang Ming'ai, August 22, 2008)

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